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Birmingham Stories ‘Water Stories’ Story Writing Competition 2021: Rules

  1. The competition is organised jointly by the University of Birmingham and the National Literacy Trust.
  2. The competition is open to participants from the UK. All entries must be in English.
  3. Entry to this competition is open to persons who will be aged 9 to 14 years on 5 November, 2021. Entries must be submitted by an adult (parent or guardian) on behalf of the child. This adult must be able to give parental consent.
  4. To enter the competition, participants will write a fictional short story. The length of the story must be between 500 to 750 words.
  5. The entries will be submitted via an online submission system. If you cannot submit online please contact us. If you want to send a school submission, please get in touch with us before you submit, so we can register you as a school submission.
  6. The format of the entry must be a text document (not pdf).
  7. The parent / guardian submitting the story on behalf of the entrant will be asked to provide the entrant’s age. The parent /guardian will also provide contact details for the purpose of contacting the winner.
  8. The parent / guardian submitting the entrant’s story will be required to approve the entry and agree to these competition rules on behalf of the entrant. The parent / guardian must also provide their own contact details.
  9. Entries can be submitted until 12 noon on Monday 22 November, 2021.
  10. Only one story per entrant is permitted. The story must be an original piece of work and be wholly written by the entrant. It must reflect the theme of the competition as stated in the competition challenge. The stories must be single-authored.
  11. Entries must not contain obscene, defamatory, offensive or otherwise unsuitable material. The organisers reserve the right to disqualify such entries.
  12. Entrants retain the copyright in their entries. Entrants will be asked to grant a perpetual non-exclusive royalty-free licence to store the entry in a university research database for research purposes. Any research conducted and subsequently published will use anonymized data with only gender (if provided) and age identifying the stories. Entrants will be further asked to grant permission to publish winning stories online. This licence will be deemed to include all the necessary rights and permissions to enable use as described above, to fulfill the prizes and to complete the administration of this competition.
  13. Entries can be withdrawn within 7 days of submission by contacting
  14. Entries will be judged on the following criteria: originality, relation to the challenge theme, characterisation, plot, language, overall artistic impression and enjoyment
  15. The Birmingham Stories Student Literacy Champions will support the shortlisting of entries. A panel of experts will choose the overall winner from the shortlist.
  16. Prizes, as specified in the challenge, will be awarded to winners. Winners will be contacted in December.
  17. The organisers reserve the right to amend these rules or cancel the competition at any stage.
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